Monday, February 23, 2015

So much to enjoy in Dominica!

I seem finally to have found a good shore WiFi signal, with the help of our Wirie (which amplifies WiFi), so I hope to do some 'catching up' on our blog....

There is so much to enjoy in Dominica!

Gil amidst the "bubbly" of Champagne Reef

Gil and I dinghied over to Champagne Reef for some snorkeling. It is aptly named, as we swam in the "bubbly" created by underwater hot springs. Our guidebook stated " can find frogfish, flying gurnards and seahorses quite easily," so I came away a little disappointed as I still have not seen my first seahorse or frogfish. I did, however, capture a photo of a lionfish (their barbs are poisonous) and a mystery fish.


can anyone identify my mystery fish?

elkhorn coral

Dominica has 365 rivers - one for each day of the year; and therefore an abundance of waterfalls. We've visited several....

Spanny Falls

Reaching the higher of the two waterfalls of Spanny Falls was a small workout.... clambering up and over rocks with the help of rope rails.

 getting to the first falls was easy

 getting to the second falls was challenging

 rope rails aided our ascent
Joan & Bruce

It was no surprise that we had the place to ourselves, and after that climb, the dip under the falls felt so refreshing! 

myself & Vivian going in to cool off under Spanny Falls

I needed helmet under that cascade!

myself, Vivian & Jaro enjoying the dip

ditto for Bruce & Joan

We passed by a mushroom farm, and at its' entrance was this sign....

"please SHOUT ... before entering"

We shouted, and were eventually greeted by the farmer who asked for $35 US pp for a tour! He obviously didn't want to give us one? We took a pass on it.

Middleham Falls (top half)

Middleham Falls (bottom half)

Our visit to Middleham Falls was a side trek off section 4 of the Waitukubuli National Trail. We hiked 5 hours that day! These falls were striking - a narrow stream drops about 200ft. from a keyhole notch in the lip of the cliff - one of Dominica's tallest waterfalls.

Gil passed up this hike, so I went with the girls...

myself, Joan & Vivian
(@ the base of a humungous buttress tree)

Emerald Pool

Gil & I took a local bus to visit the Emerald Pool, given that name because it appears bright green from the tree-filtered sunlight.

The short hike there took us through lush rain forest....

Along the way, we saw a few of the local critters....

an agouti

land crab with his catch

 spotted lizard

Emerald Pool was a little more remote than the other waterfalls we'd been to. We gave up waiting for a return bus, and hitchhiked (a first on this adventure) back into town. That ride back into town was a highlight in our day. The driver was so interesting to talk with; sharing his views of the island's economics and its challenges for prosperity ... Dominica has essentially no good beaches; it does not have an international airport (so getting there would take 2 days), and it has a population of only 70,000.... so it's not likely to change. Oh, and did I mention his ride? ....'a hummer! 

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